February 25, 2015

Nodak hosts crop insurance update

By GABLE RHOADS

More than a dozen area farmers attended a crop insurance update meeting which was hosted by Nodak Mutual Career Agent Janet Wagner.

Sheridan County FSA Director Connie Jerome spoke of the changes made to farming programs by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Rick Sturn, the area claims representative from American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Inc. (AFBIS), gave a presentation on the supplemental coverage option (SCO) for crops and how it is affected by the new Farm Bill.

Jerome spoke of the need to update yield data and reallocate base acres by the February 27 deadline.

Jerome said one of her first jobs with FSA in 1985 was calculating yields. Farm yield data have been frozen since 1986.

Yields which are updated need to use information from the years 2008 through 2012. If there was no yield for any of those years, farmers will average their yields only for the years a crop was planted.

If there was a year with a low yield or a year where a crop was planted but the yield was unknown, then a substitute yield may be used. The substitute yield will be 75% of the 2008 through 2012 county average yield per planted acre for the crop.

Jerome noted that one of the downfalls of the new Farm Bill is if there were no crops for the years 2008-2013, then the old yields must be used.

Jerome highly recommended farmers recalculate their yields.

Farmers need to decide if they want to reallocate their base acres or keep their current base. The base and yield data will be used through 2018.

The next big deadline Jerome spoke of was the decision of whether to enroll in Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) county, ARC individual or Price Loss Coverage (PLC). Farmers also have until the deadline to change their selection. After the deadline, the program of choice is set for the next five years.


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